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Project Search at Hounslow Council held a graduation ceremony last week to recognise those with learning disabilities who are unlocking vital employment opportunities.

Since 2012, Project SEARCH has delivered a pioneering work-based learning programme which supports these young people as they transition from education to employment. These students spend their final year of education based within business premises, where they focus their studies on employability and personal development alongside a full-time tutor. They also gain valuable work experience, supported by a full-time job coach.

The project dramatically increases the chances of finding employment for our students and boasts an amazing 70% full-time employment rate - without this intervention the normal employment rate is less than 6%.

The graduates were presented with a certificate by Councillor Lily Bath – Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Employment.

The interns worked in an array of roles at the Council – ranging from ‘hands on’ jobs with the Park Rangers Team to supporting Public Health’s ‘Winter Ready’ campaign. Along with practical work experience, the interns benefitted from a tutor at West Thames College and were mentored by a dedicated job coach at Kaleidoscope Sabre.

Shirya Sharma, who graduated from the internship, said:
“This internship has helped me so much, I got to meet amazing individuals with a similar background to me. I learnt how to build a professional profile and succeed at any workplace. From this internship, I now have a job at Greggs.”

Other graduates have now progressed into employment at Ealing Council, Snakes and Ladders, West Thames College and London Museum of Water and Steam.

Councillor Lily Bath, Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Employment, said:
“It's been an amazing year for this group of interns and I’m so proud of their achievements - gaining invaluable work experience. Hounslow is committed to ensuring every young person in the borough has the very best start in life and these internships is just one example of how we are expanding young people’s horizons and aspirations.”

Project SEARCH will continue to make a difference to many lives and is currently recruiting for their next intake of students.

If you would like to apply or refer someone to Project SEARCH at Hounslow, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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